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Roman type

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In Latin-script typography, roman is one of the three main kinds of historical type, alongside blackletter and italic. Roman type was modelled on a European scribal manuscript style of the 1400s, based on pairing Roman square capitals used in ancient Rome with Carolingian minuscules developed in the Holy Roman Empire.

During the early Renaissance, a publication would use either roman or italic type, not both. Today, roman and italic type are mixed, using roman for most of the text and italic for special purposes. Most typeface families include, at a minimum, roman, italic or oblique, and boldface character sets.

The word roman, without a capital R, customarily denotes Italian typefaces used during the Renaissance period and later upright typefaces derived from them. With a capital R, Roman refers to letter forms dating from ancient Rome.

Popular roman typefaces include Bembo, Baskerville, Caslon, Bodoni, Times New Roman and Garamond.


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